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Shipping agents to use new customs management system

BY: Della Russel Ocloo
 Mr Kyerematen (standing) engaging the stakeholders on the Uni-Pass rollout. Picture: DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO
Mr Kyerematen (standing) engaging the stakeholders on the Uni-Pass rollout. Picture: DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has directed the representatives of shipping lines and agents operating at the Tema Port to submit the manifest on vessels calling and departing the port into the new operational Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS).

Similarly, the Customs Classification and Valuation reports (CCVR), acquired for the purposes of creating Bill of Entries (BOEs) targeting manifest and bill of laden (BL) for vessels arriving later than Tuesday, May 26, 2020, should be re-processed through the ICUMS.

The directives were contained in a letter dated May 25, 2020, and signed by the acting Commissioner General of the GRA, Mr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, to all stakeholders at the port.

In line with the directives, officials yesterday began the live testing of the system ahead of the June 1, rollout.

Bills of Entries

The commissioner general pointed out that importers and agents who had already created Bills of Entries (BOEs) or were in the process of creating such for manifests already submitted into the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) operated by the Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet) could continue the process until June 1.

He, however, stated that any uncleared cargo with BOE created in the GCNet at various stages of processing would be required to be transferred into the Uni-Pass system on the June 1 effective date.

Meeting

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, was at the Tema Port, together with Mr Owusu-Amoah, the Commissioner of Customs, Col (retd) Kwadwo Damoah, as well as the Deputy Minister of Trade, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, to engage the stakeholders and provide clarity on the directives on the road map outlined for the June 1 rollout.

Mr Kyerematen was of the view that for the purposes of a smooth transition, all terminal operators had been tasked to generate reports on the delivery order (DO) for the period of January 1, 2020, to May 31, 2020, to make way for the migration of uncleared cargo details into ICUMS so as to allow for continuity of clearance.

Freight forwarders

The minister allayed the fears of the freight forwarders and importers that the re-processing of CCVRs on cargos might be uncleared prior to the June 1 deadline and the associated cost that they might incur on such an activity.

He, however, advised importers and agents who had documents to process and might not be able to meet the exit deadline, not to continue the process in the GCMS.

Mr Owusu-Amoah also assured them that Customs would readily provide assistance for importers, agents and all relevant stakeholders who might encounter challenges during the deployment phase.

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